Government trained agents offering security measures

Saturday, October 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

EDMOND, Okla. (AP) _ Developing a secure work space is not merely hiring armed guards around the perimeter and the lobby of a building. Instead, it's a complicated web of issues, each of which needs to be addressed to provide security for workers, inventory, customers, visitors and, most important, data.

So says Jeffrey K. Jenkins, regional representative for Technical Innovative Concepts, an Edmond-based security company that has something most others don't offer _ government -trained agents.

``We all (the security agents within the company) are either former FBI, CIA or retired military,'' Jenkins said. ``All of us were security-trained or were security officers for our respective services.''

Jenkins, though, is basically all of the above.

After working in the food service industry, then as assistant to the director of education of the U.S. Navy's Supply Command, he joined the U.S. Department of Justice as a paralegal in 1983, then became a special agent with the FBI.

After being a ``butcher, baker, candlestick maker'' for the FBI, he finally went to security school with the National Security Agency and the CIA. This school also worked with the U.S. Department of State's embassy personnel to train technical surveillance countermeasure officers.

Since then, he's become a certified ``tech agent'' with the FBI and still holds a top-secret clearance, as do all the field agents within the company.

Primarily, the agents have been trained to spot covert audio or video surveillance of a building or office, test if it's bugged and to look for weak points in the security system.

``What we do is offer an assessment of a location and offer recommendations on ways to strengthen security around it,'' he said.

This security ranges from the latest gee-whiz, state-of-the-art, spy movie gadgetry to training personnel in technical countermeasures and counterterrorist activities.

``What we look for are vulnerability and devices that have been concealed,'' Jenkins said. ``We always look first at access. If a person can get access to a building, then he's got control.''

Since the threat of terrorism or evildoing was brought home in such a dramatic fashion Sept. 11, more corporations, schools, institutions, governments and individuals have called the company for security assistance.

``There really is a lot of interest in all this since the hijackers' attacks on Sept. 11,'' Jenkins said. ``I don't think there's any way that just security could have prevented that, but we do offer ways in which people can feel secure while at work.''

Equipment, which Jenkins said his company invented, provides security officers a complete view, with up to 16 cameras recording at one time so they can watch anything, anywhere in real time.

With the RapidEye Plus system in place, clear, crisp pictures _ including digital video _ are taken at the time of a robbery. Since the pictures can't be manipulated later, the digital video can be given to both the police and FBI, while the owner has the hard-drive information to immediately file for insurance.

``There's no more of that fuzzy, not quite clear pictures of a robber,'' Jenkins said.

Another good use of the system is security on far-flung campuses, like colleges, hotels, convention centers or even just convenience stores.

The interactive remote features of the device allow a remote officer to constantly watch real-time video, even look for what occurred minutes ago and keep other officers informed of the situation.

``A security officer can monitor this, see what's happening in real time and even view stored data at the same time,'' he said. ``This means that the security can spot something and call the police to either prevent the incident or at least provide evidence to hasten the capture.''

The system that Technical Innovative Concepts uses is an interactive remote video system than can store up to 1,000 days of digital pictures. ``This video, unlike VCRs, won't deteriorate over time, getting worse each time it's viewed,'' Jenkins said.

``It can be accessed from a PC, a laptop, anywhere the senior security officer happens to be.''

It also can be adapted to commercial aircraft so that not only does the pilot have full view of everything going on in the passenger area, but a security officer can monitor every airplane in the sky simultaneously.

``Normally, we don't quote prices like this, but we can equip an entire airline fleet with this equipment so that a security guard in one place can monitor all that airline's airplanes simultaneously for $25,000 per airplane.

``We feel that this is an extremely low price for such good security.''

All the field agents involved with the company have basically the same credentials as Jenkins _ some with more some with less _ that's why they are all so interested in security.

Jenkins admitted he and the others are ``somewhat paranoid'' when it comes to security, but there's a good reason to be.

``One time I gave a speech and opened with the question was anybody in the room paranoid,'' he said. ``Nobody raised their hands.

After my hour talk, I repeated the question and everyone raised their hands. Some of the people said they were not only paranoid but were scared of me.''

While Jenkins' company pushes high-tech security devices, there are other, less expensive ways to provide security.

``Anything you do is good, just as long as you are not lax with it,'' he said.

The company was incorporated in April. It has 16 employees in Edmond headquarters and regional office, and agents scattered throughout the United States.